Notice

El Paso County Public Health is not placing tuberculosis skin tests until further notice. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Bat Rabies Prevention

Bats are an important part of our ecosystem, which is why it is very important to leave them alone and never handle them. You can’t tell if a bat has rabies just by looking at it; rabies can be confirmed only by having the animal tested in a laboratory.

For general information on how to prevent rabies visit www.elpasocountyhealth.org/rabies-prevention.

What should I do if I suspect a bat has bitten, scratched or had direct contact with me or another person, child or pet?

  • Call El Paso County Public Health immediately at 719-578-3220.
    Anyone who touched or had contact with the bat or its saliva could be at risk of getting rabies, which is almost always fatal once symptoms begin. Rabies can be prevented if treatment is given before symptoms appear, so quickly identifying anyone who has had contact is important.
  • It is also very important to try to contain the bat, if possible, so that it can be tested for rabies. www.cdc.gov/rabies/bats/contact/capture.html

What should I do if I find a SICK bat outside on the ground?

  • If you find a live bat on the ground, don’t touch it. Notify Public Health so we can determine whether it needs to be safely captured and tested for rabies or left alone.
  • Report the bat and its location to COHELP at 1-877-462-2911.
  • Place a box or other container over the bat to contain it. Be careful not to damage the bat in any way since it must be intact for rabies testing.
  • Do not handle or touch sick or injured animals including bats.

What should I do if I find a LIVE bat in my home, garage or other indoor structure?

  • If you find a bat in your home, notify Public Health so we can determine whether it needs to be safely captured and tested for rabies infection or released outside.
  • Close doors to the room to contain it, if possible, and try to maintain awareness of its location.
  • Await recommendations from Public Health.

What should I do if find a DEAD bat on my property, home or is a busy public place (like a park or school playground)?

  • Testing of already DEAD bats is situation dependent.
  • If you find a dead bat on your property, use heavy gloves (like leather work gloves), then pick it up or scoop it up with a dust pan or shovel. Put it in sealed container or jar or place it in a plastic bag that is within another heavy-weight plastic bag, such as a zip-lock bag. Store it in a cooler or refrigerator until you have notified Public Health.
  • Await recommendations from Public Health.

How do I bat proof my home?

  • To keep bats out, make sure all open doors and windows have screens that will prevent the bat from flying inside your home and entry. This should be done during the winter (November-March) when bats have left for hibernation.
  • The entry points are often near the roof edge such as under the eaves, soffits, and bands around the chimney.
  • A variety of materials can be used to seal openings including 1/4 inch hardware cloth, fly screening, sheet metal, wood caulking, expandable polyurethane, or fiberglass insulation.
  • Do not disturb roosting bats.
  • Many private animal control companies can further assist with bat proofing your home.